WM pink and gray Rev3

This week: whaaaaa? I’ll get there in a minute. First, let me explain the title of this post. It’ll take me one minute.

Messy Room, 1

The pictures in this post reminded me of the cover of this book. The colors are happy, and there is childhood innocence involved, but the main adult is crazy.

Those two baskets of laundry sat unemptied for 10 days. Allow me to be specific. They sat unemptied in the boys room for 4 days. They sat unemptied in the family room for 6 days. So, total, 10 days. And it was really inconvenient for a host of reasons, not the least of which that because they were so packed with clothing, Nico couldn’t neatly rifle through them for clean shorts. So every morning for band camp he would come out wearing fleece lined ski pants and flip-flops, and every morning I would tell him to put on shorts. His reply was always the same.

“But, mama! I don’t have any shorts in my drawers! This is all I have!”

And I would get up and help him find shorts but in my head I’d be like, hey! Way to throw mama under the bus, because this exchange always, always, always happened when the Mister was doing something useful and within listening distance.

I know what you’re thinking, because the Mister was thinking it, too. Why not put away the laundry? In fact, the Mister took it one step past thinking and on day 10 said, “Why not put away the laundry?”

I said it was because–and this was the truth–I knew I had to purge the boys clothes first and I didn’t want to do it. Besides, the laundry hadn’t been out that long.

“It’s been sitting in the family room for 10 days.”

“No it hasn’t. Only 6 days! It’s in the boys room now.”

“For almost a week! That’s still 10 days. You’re just procrastinating and making it a bigger job in your head than it really is.”

“Um, excuse me? I don’t want to have to throw numbers at you, but 4 out of those 10 days I had a migraine, so I couldn’t have put away the laundry even if I wanted to. Therefore, I only procrastinated 60% of the time. The other 40% doesn’t count, so it’s like I’m procrastinating half as much as you think I am.”

“There it is! There’s that law degree!”


Messy Room, 2

I did purge the clothes and put away the laundry, though I waited until the next day just so everyone was clear I wasn’t admitting guilt. It wasn’t that bad and went faster than I thought it would (no comment). I thought that would be this week’s post.

But then! Then! The Mister went out of town, as expected, and I planned to watch movies all week long. I even had him buy something for the modem for Apple TV/Netflix so they download faster zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I have no idea. I just asked him to please make it work better and he did.

Messy Room, 3

On Monday I found out a neighbor’s home was burglarized. This was not what I wanted to hear because (1) I was home alone with the boys and would be home alone for the rest of the week and (2) this was the 4th such burglary I heard of, and one of the others happened to a close friend of mine who lives less than a mile away. On Monday night I was freaking out about this on Facebook when another friend told me that an actual home robbery happened that day, again less than a mile from me, and that a few days prior someone tried to break into her house late at night. Clearly, something is up.

That something turned out to be my paranoia.

Messy Room, 5

I couldn’t watch TV because I was way too nervous. Because the burglaries/robberies were happening morning/noon/night (one neighbor was the morning, the other neighbor the afternoon, and my friend at night) I decided to download a romance novel from an atrociously predictable author (seriously, everything she writes is the same and comforting in its predictability and awfulness) and stay up all night reading it with a hammer next to me. You know, for self defense.

Go ahead and laugh, all my friends did when I told them.

Then, I started thinking (after I went a night without sleep) that if a “bad guy” were to break in, the boys would have to hide while I defended the castle. The best place for them to hide would be their cavernous closet, but it is so stuffed with toys that they would never get in there without making a racket and blowing their cover. So, naturally, the only logical thing to do this week was to clean out their closet and create a hidey-hole.

Hand to Bible, this sounded perfectly sane on Tuesday. Of course, I also put a foil wimple on my cough medicine when I was tired.

It only gets better from here.

On Tuesday night I told the Mister that me and my hammer were going to sleep on the couch. “Why?” he asked.
After I rolled my eyes (Geez, this guy is so slow!) I said, “Well, obviously because the couch is centrally located so if anyone breaks in I can hear them right away and then they have less of a chance to sneak up on me. I mean, what if someone breaks in through the kitchen but I’m in the bedroom? I might not hear them as fast as I would if I was on the couch!”

And he said, “Wow. Okay. Huh. Wow. I did not think of that.”

(Duh! That’s why I have the law degree!)

Messy Room, 6

Later, as I was changing into my pajamas, I looked at my soft and comfy bed through the eyes of someone who had not slept more than 3 hours and reconsidered the brilliance of my plan to sleep on the couch. So I downloaded yet another book from the same author and put on my usual camisole/tank dress pajama thing. Then, it hit me. A camisole/tank dress pajama thing is not something I want to wear in hand-to-hand combat with my hammer by my side. So, again relying on my infallible logic, I put on yoga pants and a tight fitting work out tank top. I needed something comfortable enough to sleep in but athletic enough for me to do roundhouse kicks, flips, and karate chops at a moment’s notice. I almost put on a sports bra, but I realized that was a little crazy. (A little crazy! Everything else? Totally sane!!)

That night I didn’t last past 2am, and when I woke up 6 hours later I felt like Rip Van Winkle waking up from a nap. Six hours of sleep after no sleep is like the first pumpkin latte after a long, hot summer. I could have conquered the world with one hand and live-tweeted it with the other.

Messy Room, 7

I may have realized the hidey-hole wasn’t critical at that point, but I was too far into the project to stop. The boys and I kept at it and finished a good portion of the closet. We were able to move in an old storage cubby and shoe rack, and sometime this weekend we hope to organize the remaining odds and ends that we stuffed in a basket.

Messy Room, 4

For now, we have two bags of clothing and a stack of toys heading off to Goodwill and my craziness has almost resolved itself. I say almost because I’m still researching German Shepherd rescue organizations.


This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.


Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment. A few guidelines:

    • Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
    • Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home. I have a delete button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
    • No links to giveaways, please.
    • Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    Your post… is the first thing that made me smile today.
    And now I’m wondering who that author is, the lady lucky enough to be given this prestigous, uhm… blurb (?) “…seriously, everything she writes is the same and comforting in its predictability and awfulness… Maybe she can help me out too, on crappy days… 😉

  2. Susan G says

    I have nothing to say to this (I’m laughing too hard) except DUH!! What is wrong with these husbands of ours who don’t get the logic of this???? I totally get it! (Well, I do have a law degree, but so does my husband and he doesn’t think this way.)

  3. says

    I know that special brand of alone-in-the-house-at-night crazy. I can lose all rational thought when the sun goes down. Everything you wrote here? Makes TOTAL sense to me. Maybe I should have gone to law school, too? 😉

  4. says

    Laughing here. Your logic seems infallible to me. Especially about when taking a hammer to bed with you, don’t wear a nightie. I never thought of that before, but then I only worked as a paralegal– so obviously your advanced degree helped you figure that out.

  5. says

    My neighborhood hasn’t even had a rash of burglaries/robberies and what you’ve just described is almost verbatim to what I go through if I am woken by an unknown bump in the night. The only difference is that not only am I on the couch so I’m centrally located, but my head is in the corner of the room so that nothing/no one can creep up behind me and conk me on the head. Seriously.
    Give up on the German Shepherd. Things are no better with a guard dog. The moment they get all on-alert, my brain goes haywire with paranoia. What did he hear? What’s he staring at? Holy crap someone is going to bust through my door or window at any moment! And then I jump a mile when the refrigerator kicks on or the dryer buzzes. Yeah – guard dogs don’t bring any security to those of us with overactive imaginations and paranoia.

    • says

      I would totally position myself in the safe corner.

      You know, my husband was trying to tell me that dogs smell or sense fear, so that even though Buddy and Buster are old, lazy, and docile like lambs, if something were to happen they would go nuts to defend the pack. I can tell you right now that if they suddenly started growling and raising their hackles I would empty my bowels in a flourish and then collapse from fear. It’s almost worse thinking that it’s so bad that they think it’s bad!

  6. Linda says

    There were so many tings I loved about this post, but I just needed to say — wrapping paper holder as light-saber storage = brilliant!

    • LauraC says

      That was one of the first things I noticed too, and I love that Jules keeps things real – no fakey staging here (even the label is still on, just like our label is too!).
      Also, I have been known to rewash clean clothes that have been in the laundry basket for more than a week (don’t like to iron). And I think I am the odd one out here, I don’t worry when my husband is gone, though I do try to double check the doors, and have reminded myself more than once that we have an excellent guard dog (sounds ferocious and I actually think she would protect us). Jules, you have dogs, don’t you think they’d bark and wake you up?

      • LauraC says

        I guess my editing didn’t finish in time. I wanted to add that if there were actual burglaries in my neighborhood, I would be nervous. I am so sorry it’s been happening and hope the police can stop it soon.

        • says

          Hah! I didn’t even notice the sticker until you said something and honestly forgot about the light saber storage until it was mentioned a few times in the comments. Clearly I’m a lousy blogger when it comes to these things! 😉 I used to store them a different way that other moms thought was pretty good, so I’ll do a post on that–even though I think it’s pretty silly, but maybe there are moms out there that are new to the whole “life with boys who need 39489308 weapons” phenomenon.

  7. says

    Totally relate to the paranoia. You should have seen me setting the house alarm when I worked from home alone during a spate of break-ins in the neighborhood. Anything could happen! Anyway, what struck me in this post was kind of tangential… You have SWORD STORAGE in your boys’ room. NEED!!! :-)

  8. says

    I am SO guilty of the same laundry faux paux right now — except mine has not moved at all in the last 10 days. Oh yeah, that’s how I roll. But I did start folding some of it this morning, which is a bit of progress at least. 😉

    As for the paranoia, I am pretty sure I would act similarly if several of my neighbors had recently been burglarized. In fact, when someone in our apartment building of 10 apartments had their home vandalized recently, we were on super high alert for a few months. The door was always locked behind us, we double checked closing the door to the building and were otherwise just constantly on our guard.

    Hopefully they will catch the culprit(s) soon, and you and your family will never have to go through that first hand!

    • says

      I always leave our doors unlocked, windows open. I even leave the slider open so Buddy and Buster can go in and out. No more! It was hard getting used to the habit again, but not that hard seeing that I was scared stiff.

  9. Jenn says

    Loved this post! You are not the only person who has considered what they want to be wearing when they are fighting off an intruder. I also occasionally set up traps that would cause the intruder to make a lot of noise when entering our home. In the morning light, the traps look pretty ridiculous.

    The closet looks great! Maybe have those boys put away their laundry from now on?!

    • says

      The whole idea of the closet (minus the hidey-hole) was so that they could put away their own laundry. With the cubbies, hangers, and extra space they can do it. With only one dresser, putting away clothes was a game of tetris. Mikey could do it, but Nico ended up making everything a mess. I think I’ve mentioned before that he needs lots of clean, empty space and order if I want his environment to stay organized. I occasionally had Mikey do it, but to be honest I was already there doing Nico’s so Mikey got off easy.

  10. says

    Sleeping in a proper burglar-chasing outfit? Man, you think ahead. Lol.

    Once, I discovered someone was breaking into my detached garage while I was home alone. If I was logical, I would have called the police. However, I instead chose to bang on the kitchen window and yell “get out of my garage!” The burglar walked slowly out the door and out to the street. In a second moment of terrible decision making, I actually RAN OUT INTO THE STREET barefoot and in my pajama pants after him. To do what? I don’t know. I didn’t see him once I was out there, which was probably for the best. Then I called my husband and cried about it.

    • Phaedra says

      I ran after a robber with a stapler in my hand. LOL. The police weren’t so amused when they showed up. I had ‘endangered’ myself (& how was I planning on using the stapler as an instrument of defense I have no idea either!)

  11. says

    OK. I have several things to say. Also being an attorney, I am going to number them.
    1. The first pumpkin latte after a long hot summer. LOVE.
    2. We have 2 big dogs because I feel safer with them. They are rescued.
    3. I have had the same thought about what I sleep in.
    4. When my husband is not around, I almost never sleep, and do have my car keys (panic button) and a Mag Light and perhaps a baseball bat at my side.
    5. We were so truly cut from the same cloth.

    Thanks for sharing. I didn’t even giggle. Except when it was funny ha ha and not funny weird.

    • says

      Hah! You know, the panic button is a brilliant idea. I admit that I considered going to my room to test out the range of my car alarm. This will have to go on my list of CRIME PREPARATIONS.

  12. Phaedra says

    “Nico couldn’t neatly rifle through them for clean shorts. So every morning for band camp he would come out wearing fleece lined ski pants and flip-flops” laugh number one. I can just picture it so clearly. :)
    ‘there’s that law degree!’ laugh number two. sounds like our house. ahem.
    “even had him buy something for the modem for Apple TV/Netflix so they download faster zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I have no idea.” laugh number three. I totally feel the same about anything tech related. zzzzzzzzzzzz is right!
    “Then, it hit me. A camisole/tank dress pajama thing is not something I want to wear in hand-to-hand combat with my hammer by my side” laugh number 4. so awesome I don’t even know what to say that sums up my feelings about how awesome this really is!
    thanks for starting my morning out on the right foot!

  13. says

    You have my compete support here. The hide-hole, the hammer, sleeping on the couch in armor if you would like!
    We had a summer like this about 3 yrs ago. Daily burglaries all over our normally quiet neighborhood at any time of day or night. At one elderly couple’s house they came in the front door shooting, at an attorney’s house they robbed him, stuck the dog in the basement and set the place on fire. It was later determined this lawyer had a hand in putting them behind bars previously, which is why they targeted him and our neighborhood.
    Long and short of it….it makes you completely paranoid. Of course, you can’t sleep out of fear, and sleep deprivation isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered for sane thinking. We ended up taking turns being the designated insomniacs for the night. 2 or 3 of us each night stayed up watching and texting each other (usually some ridiculous story about what we had just caught ourselves doing in our paranoia)….which leads to the silver lining. By the time a month had passed and they were finally caught, we were all much closer to our neighbors.
    Hope your robbery outbreak ends very soon and the hidey-hole is never ever needed!

  14. Elin says

    There are so many things to address in this post, but let me just comment that my three kids, aged 5, 7 and 9, do their own laundry. From start to finish. Give it some thought. 😉

  15. says

    Most hilarious Alford plea I’ve ever read! There’s nothing funny though about fearing the safety of your family or home and I admit to myself having slept with something to fend off attackers when my husband used to travel. We purchased some self installed {peel and stick tape none the less} battery operated alarms for doors and windows and they’ve been up for several years, and sound a high pitch if the door is opened or the windows wiggled. They were cheap, even think we got them from Costco. Perhaps something like that might give you some peace?

    • says

      A second vote for those battery operated alarms! They have them as doorstops too, so you can tell when a door is being opened. The noise is earsplitting and they’re relatively cheap on Amazon. I’ve purchased some for my parents and they work great. We use them for the opposite reason, to make sure my stepdad doesn’t wander out of the house, but they work both ways.

  16. says

    Oh, Jules! This is funny to read but very unpleasant to live through – hope they get it cleared up soon!

    I used to have the worst night time paranoia – started when I was a kid and there was a rash of break ins at the school we shared a fence with. I’d wake up constantly with my heart going crazy and it went on for YEARS. Having my escape routes and hiding holes planned made me feel much better so I do it for every house we’ve lived in. D does not agree, thinks it’s crazy and tells me that he refuses to hide in the wardrobe (my planned hiding place in our current apt) if someone breaks in the house at night because he thinks it’s creepy to even think about it.

    Brains work so differently, don’t they?

    • says

      You’re the one who gave me the brilliant idea about the hammer and perfume, so I fully support the way your brain works. Since mine isn’t exactly a normal working brain, you can take that how you wish.

  17. Rebe says

    This totally cracked me up! Although I’m not usually worried about that stuff, I have my own crazy. My uncle travels a lot and my aunt mentioned to her local police officer that she worries about being home alone and he said the best thing to have is the biggest can of Raid you can find by your bed. Works like Mace or Pepper Spray but idiot proof b/c you can spray it for a long time and its heavy enough to hit with. To this day, our entire family sleeps with cans of Raid in the nightstands. :-)

      • says

        I was going to say, we have a can of wasp killer next to our bed. It’s like long range mace! And, I seriously think about the clothes I sleep in when I’m home alone. I related to this on so many levels. I don’t have kids, so it’s just me. but i have borrowed friends dogs before to “protect” me. I’m such a fraidy cat, I usually stay at someone else’s house if the mister is out of town.

  18. jasi says

    this all makes perfect sense to me as i sit quite literally 2 feet from a 4 day pile of clean (now rumpled) clothing that needs to be put away. i have vacuumed the entire house, scrubbed tons of floor on hands and knees, dusted 29 sets of blinds.. all to avoid this. what’s so hard about it?

    also i get paranoid when i’m alone for a week too with the kids. i laugh off danger while they’re awake but read a book on the stairs with a meat tenderizer when anxiety gets high.. perfectly legit plan.

  19. Anna says

    “There’s that law degree!” This made me laugh! Whenever we get into an argument about something like this, my husband tells me I should have been a lawyer, because there’s always some logical argument for my actions.

    I second the vote for the door/window alarms. Also, you might stop by a local sports/hunting store. A friend of mine used to work at one, and he’d spend a good part of each day helping people with home-defense/self-defense questions. Sometimes he’d sell a home-defense shotgun to a grandma, but sometimes the solution was as simple as a can of pepper spray for a jogger. Just don’t count on the police being able to reach you quickly enough to stop a crime from occurring. We just had a sad situation here locally where a woman called 911 because her ex was at the door with a knife, but he broke down the door before the police arrived. So call 911 AND have a backup plan.

    • says

      Sometimes if I back down too easily he’ll say, “That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? I’m disappointed.” Haha, very funny Mister. :)

  20. Shannon says

    You are killing me this week! I normally read my morning blogs in silence but this one did me in, twice! So glad that hubby is home so you can put your hammer away ~ unless you LIKE being Thor. 😀 Also, haven’t you seen how well it turns out for gals in frilly camis when they go to investigate noises? Stick to the dorkiest jammies you have and you’ll be just fine. And please for the love of everything ~ skip the kitten heels slippers before you investigate any strange sounds. 😉

    Growing up, if my dad traveled my mom made ALL of us sleep on the living room floor together. That way none of had a chance of surviving the attack. . . . . or at least that is how I felt as a teenager forced on a family glamping trip. I’m so grateful my dad didn’t travel much.

    • says

      That’s right! The attractive girl never survives. Although, I could use the kitten heel ala Single White Female and stab him in the eye! I could totally do it if I was wearing my sports bra.

    • says

      Also, I’m a consistent “planner” and am always looking around and planning ways to utilize my surroundings in an attack. Like how to use a floor lamp to attack (you want to poke not swing, it has a better chance) and where to go to be safest, etc.

      I love the way brains work!

  21. says

    First, I was lol’ing through much of this post, because now that I know you so well. I hear your voice in my head as you’re writing. Seriously. Second, what’s that star wars science thingy?

  22. says

    Also, you’re talking to someone who plans out escape routes for the inevitable zombie attack on an almost daily basis, and especially when we’re traveling. When we were in Big Bear last weekend, I figured that obviously the road down the hill would be littered with crashed cars and zombies and such, so of course we would need to go hijack a snow plow of sorts and use that to “shovel” our way down the mountain to go see about rescuing the rest of our family still trapped down in the city. I’m not kidding. I told this plan to our friends and I think they questioned why they are actually friends with an INSANE person.

  23. says

    I love love love this post, but I also once slept with a chef’s knife close enough to me that I could reach it if I were being robbed (while my husband was away) but not so close that I’d accidentally cut myself if I fell asleep. Excellent logic sleeping in fighting clothes, btw.

  24. Jeanne says

    You are such a great writer! You could write comedy and everything else. Love the law degree comments. Married to one and rarely win an argument, and sometimes have to remind him he not at work. Understand your fear. I walked into my house post break-in about 6 yrs ago with my 9 yr old. Not my best mother moment as I walked around with my mouth agape in shock as my daughter became hysterical and I basically ignored her. Husband at walgreens buying 50th birthday gag gifts. Long story short, the perps ended up in jail and my husband, along with other victims went to the trial and got to verbally ream them in court. Back to the point–you’re writing brightens my day.

  25. Jeen-Marie says

    So funny!
    We’ve had a lot of stupid crime going on in our neighborhood lately, so I totally understand!
    When honey’s away- kiddo sleeps with me and I sleep with my glasses and phone under my pillow. I am blind as a bat and do not want to go ‘searching’ for these items and miss any opportunity to defend the castle. We also have 3 dogs (large and loud is their only deterrent) and we have an alarm system.
    I can sorta sleep then, maybe. Unless… I stay up way too late working on a project and spook myself with a scratchy tree branch outside.
    Oh, I also have ‘sleep’ bras too. Because the girls can’t get in the way or be embarrassing while I stand outside talking to the police, ambulance driver or firefighter. Yes. I’m that neighbor.

  26. says

    Also an ex-attorney here and I did not FIND ONE BIT OF THIS weird in any way. I totally applaud your planning as well as your ability to anticipate danger from ever possible scenario, cuz that’s what I do ALL THE TIME. And I can picture you in your yoga pants and tank and hammer ensemble and I think you would be totally badass. I kind of think of you as an action heroine anyway, with your ability to whip your house into shape. I’ve been meaning to clean our spare room closet (aka garbage dump) for YEARS. Years.

    P.S. LOVE the hidey hole! And the boys’ room is darling!

  27. Michele says

    Great post. I love the thought you put into what to wear for your robbery scenario. That’s not something I’ve ever considered in my “escape” plan if a robber comes calling when my hubby is out of town. I’m stuck on how I’m going to get my cat and my 75 pound Rottweiler with a gimpy leg to follow me out the bedroom window, across the porch roof, and up onto the second story roof very, very Q-U-I-E-T-L-Y. I just want us to wait it out on the roof and let the robbers make off with it all. How crazy is that? I am now considering keeping pet treats in my nightstand to entice them out the window with me.

  28. Courtney says

    Re: the break-ins, I recently heard that you should keep your car keys next to your bed so that if you hear someone trying to break in you can push the alarm button on your keys. Also let your neighbors know your plan so if they hear the alarm going off they can call 911. If nothing else, it will probably scare the perp off! Good luck.

  29. Cortney says

    Literally crying as I read this…..HYSTERICAL!!! I too sleep in yoga pants and a tank when my hubby is away. I have many a time thought about how to quickly get the kids into my room and barracde the door. Loving the hammer idea and the sleeping on the couch idea….very smart and not weird at all to me :). Love your blog!

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